Magazine article Variety

Finding the Funny in a Serious Moment

Magazine article Variety

Finding the Funny in a Serious Moment

Article excerpt

In the era of peak TV, it is no small feat for a series to reach 100 episodes, let alone 200, but it is an achievement that "Modern Family" co-creator Steve Levitan considers more of an "industry milestone than something our audience truly cares about."

Therefore, Levitan and co-creator Christopher Lloyd didn't feel the pressure to go physically allout with a big stunt, like the time their 22-minute story was told completely through phone and computer screens (the sixth season's "Connection Lost") or a location changer like family trips to Hawaii (the penultimate episode of season one, "Hawaii") or Australia (season five's "Australia").

"Sometimes bigger doesn't mean cannons are going off and volcanoes are erupting, it just means we're doing bigger emotions," Lloyd says. "So our production value can be quite small but we're having really talked about, serious moments in the lives of our characters."

The 200th episode, entitled "Dear Beloved Family," explores one such serious life moment when Phil (Ty Burrell) lands in the hospital. Although he is only going in for gallbladder surgery, his family begins to spin out around him in various ways as they realize the organ may be unnecessary but the complications that can come with the procedure are very real. …

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